This doesn't mean organisations need to forget all of the data they have stored and filed away, because Business Discovery tools handle more than just real-time data. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 30 percent of analytics projects will deliver insights based on structured and unstructured data. Business Discovery is the answer here, offering the unique ability to simultaneously query structured, unstructured and real-time sources of data, so users can be sure they are seeing the entire picture. Business Discovery also makes it easier to identify the small bits of data that are most important, which can be difficult when you're faced with terabytes of the stuff. Each data point is connected and associated, giving users the ability to quickly identify correlations and act on them.
Collaboration is another key component in enabling highly effective business users. Most BI tools trap users in rigid tables and charts, prohibiting interaction within a team and making it harder to work together. Users need to be able to drill down without having to create new visualisations each time a data point changes, and they need to be able to share these insights seamlessly with other members of their team. With a Business Discovery platform, teams can share insights, either in real time or on their time, by annotating on the data when they see it. This capability is vital, especially for global teams that need to stay in communication.
Business Discovery in the Real World
Companies around the world use Business Discovery to empower their front lines and make sense of the data they collect each day. For example, one large pizza chain wanted to identify unpopular menu items that needed to be discontinued. Acknowledging that these products would be different from franchise to franchise, the company deployed a Business Discovery solution to each of their 500 stores around the country. With the platform, each store manager was able to analyse their millions of transactions to identify which pizzas weren't selling. The platform also enabled collaboration with other franchisees in the area so they could compare findings. In the end, the company was able to quickly identify the unprofitable items and take them off the menu, saving an impressive $500,000.
Healthcare is another industry at the forefront of incorporating big data and Business Discovery into their everyday procedures. One hospital in Germany wanted to increase their capacity for pediatric operations without needing to expand their facilities. Using Business Discovery, the hospital was able to identify key inefficiencies in their surgery processes, resulting in a full day per week of time for additional operations. Within two years of deployment, they were able to perform more than 250 additional surgeries per year.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.